Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also add ...

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A year in the making: First Friday organizers celebrate anniversary with holiday event


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/

Shoppers browse inside Cranberry Scoop, located at 295 State St., during First Friday festivities marking the event’s one-year anniversary. Town Crier

First Friday organizers celebrated the monthly event’s first anniversary in style last week with a variety of holiday-themed festivities for the December “All Aboard for the Holidays” gathering.

The event included musicians and carolers performing throughout various areas of downtown Los Altos as children enjoyed free locomotive train rides and a visit from Santa Claus at 359 State St. In addition, Fiesta Vallarta, Maltby’s Restaurant & Tavern, Opa! and Ristorante Bella Vita hosted happy hours.

Organizer Joe Eyre told the Town Crier that First Fridays – a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation – originally started as a “social experiment” of sorts, citing the need to increase downtown vibrancy at night for merchants and shoppers alike.

Initially, he added, organizers from the grassroots group Los Altos Forward didn’t know what to expect when they kicked off the inaugural First Friday last year.

“We didn’t know what we were doing,” Eyre said with a chuckle about the event, featuring a different theme each month. “We just knew we wanted music and we wanted the merchants to stay open later.”

Eyre said organizers convinced approximately 25 downtown merchants to remain open until 8 p.m. for the initial event, which drew a sizable crowd and “set the stage for future events.” Since then, he added, First Fridays have consistently included the participation of 25-36 downtown merchants.

“I remember we were handing out Xeroxed copies of our program, which contained a map,” said Eyre, who estimated that 10-12 volunteers organize the event every month. “It was pretty basic, but the reception was great. We realized we were on to a good thing.”

And while the monthly event has gained in popularity, Eyre noted that a key part of its success stems from downtown visitors changing their shopping habits.

These days, he noted, several shoppers will purposely wait to purchase goods downtown until the monthly event occurs, because it offers the added benefit of serving as a social opportunity. Eyre added that the event has also caused several little-known downtown merchants to gain in popularity.

As for the future, Eyre said, organizers continue to work toward making First Fridays a part of the fabric that makes up downtown Los Altos.

“Hopefully we can keep this going. That’s the plan anyway,” Eyre said. “We don’t want to lose momentum now.”

For more information, visit www.losaltosfirstfriday.org.

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